The International Society for Technology in Education is currently holding there annual conference in San Diego. For all accounts, ISTE does great things and for what I know of it the conference helps great minds connect (IRL). THe question I have is do we need a group promoting technology in Education? Is there one promoting tech in business? It really seems like all educators would want to use more technology in their classrooms and instruction. To me it seems like “Best Practices”. Sure 20 years ago this group was needed at the dawn of personal computers and the rise of the internet. Similar to the invention of the overhead projector and the chalkboard, they probably needed a society in their day.
I feel any education conference needs to have technology as a major player. We use tech for reading, writing, math, science, social studies… heck everything we do in the classroom. Grade books and attendance are mostly done on the computer these days. So isn’t it time to merge ISTE with other educational best practice organizations? The conference should just be Best Practices in Teaching!
Ok, I know some teachers are still struggling with Technology, this reinforces my position. Technology needs to be in every classroom and should not be separated out as something “special’ or extra. We need to make sure all teachers are knowledgeable in core teach essentials. This is way it needs to be a focus included in all conferences not just one focused on tech. Technology needs to be better incorporated into all subjects everywhere.
I leave you with this question: Would we have a conference for the use of pencils in Ed? Whiteboards in Ed? Books in Ed?
Great ideas going on that need to be shared everywhere.
One thought on “Should there be an ISTE?”
I think you make some great points in your post. It seems conferences names, instead of being “PBL in education,” “technology in education,” or “pencils in ed,” should be “student engagement and learning in education.” Tech isn’t the answer in education, engagement is the answer. Tech is just one way to engage.
However, ISTE has been a tremendous vehicle for helping open the minds of teachers and education leaders across the world to technology. Look at how many educators joined twitter the past 5 days. Should there be an ISTE? I say yes. Is it absolutely necessary? Until all educators at all levels are on social media and collaborating with educators across the world, I still say yes.